Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2018 – The country’s top hunter horses and riders arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park for the highly anticipated 2018 National Horse Show and kicked off the professional hunter divisions in the Alltech Arena on Tuesday. Green Hunter competition saw Victoria Colvin and Holly Orlando take home blue ribbons in the 3’9” and 3’6” divisions, respectively, ahead of Wednesday’s championships.
Liza Boyd and Tradition, owned by Maggie Hill, earned the win in the first over fences round of the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, with Colvin finishing close behind in second place with Private Practice, owned by Brad Wolf.
Returning for the handy round, Colvin claimed the win with the 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who she won the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship with in August at the Kentucky Horse Park. Boyd and Colvin are currently tied heading into Wednesday’s final phases of the division after Boyd also took home second place in the handy round.
Prior to the Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter division, Amanda Steege and Lafitte De Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten, rode to the top of the leaderboard in the initial over fences round of the Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Caroline Moran, while the handy round went to Holly Orlando and the 7-year-old Hanoverian mare Whisper, owned by Privet Farm, LLC. Back-to-back second place finishes went to Chris Payne and Still Water Farm LLC’s Fibonacci.
The Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division also got underway on Tuesday with Dudley MacFarlane and Roland Park, owned by Mount Fair Equine, LLC, claiming the win and the “Automation-Model Cadet” Memorial Perpetual Trophy for her performance in the first over fences round.
Becky Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Catch Me, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, impressed the judges and scored the win in the handy round as well as the under saddle class, while Clementina Brown and her own Eagle took home second place in both over fences classes.
The first hunter champions of the 2018 National Horse Show will be crowned Wednesday in addition to the coveted Grand Champion Professional Hunter and the Leading Hunter Rider Award titles. Jumper competition will also commence Wednesday with the $35,000 Free x Rein International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* for the Cavcote Welcome Trophy at 6:30 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Victoria Colvin – Oare & Adikes-Hill Green 3’9” Hunter handy round winner
On Private Practice:
“He actually feels really good. He was a little spooky and a little fresh, but I think that helped him out today. He went around perfectly.”
On the National Horse Show:
“It’s a really nice show. It is nice to come back and have a good start like this.”
Holly Orlando – Goshen Hill Green 3’6” Hunter handy round winner
On Whisper’s performances on Tuesday:
“Whisper was amazing. In the first class, she held her breath a little bit. She has gotten better [in the handy] at every horse show we’ve gone to. I can start making the turns and really take a shot at it. We are so proud of her.”
“She is one of the sweetest mares ever. She is just awesome. [Jenny Dunion] imported her one year ago and she did a couple of Pre-Green shows and then went right into the First Years. We are so excited about her. Her owner will start showing her some in Florida. She is a trier. She never wants to let us down. She just is a little bit green and makes green mistakes here and there, but we’re very proud of her. She is so much fun to ride.”
On returning to compete at the National Horse Show:
“It’s been a while. We needed a little morale boost. It is such a nice horse show. It is an honor to be here and show here. The ring is a blast to ride in and everything about [the National Horse Show] is great.”
Becky Gochman – Suzanne Thoben Marquard Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter handy round winner
On her rounds on Tuesday with Catch Me:
“I thought he was great for both rounds. He was maybe a little bit spooky in the warm-up ring even though Scott [Stewart] had ridden him already. I was slightly nervous but I relaxed in the handy. The hand gallop to the final oxer was my favorite jump with him of all time because he just really wanted to go. I was so ready and relieved. I saw my distance maybe five strides away and just let him go for it. I am so proud that we could do that together. Scott did it earlier so I knew it could be done, but I never thought I could do that with him. It was really fun for me. He’s so cute. He just got a ton of treats for that and he’s a happy boy.”
On the National Horse Show:
“The National Horse Show always has a special place in everybody’s heart. It is one of the original, big-time indoor shows and having it in Kentucky is fitting because Kentucky is such a horse-loving community. I think that it’s really been great. It’s a great show to come to, the hospitality is wonderful and the town is the coolest. I love it.”